October 6, 2009
I went to the show the other night not really knowing what to expect. I intentionally didn’t listen to any of the bands before I went, because I love being surprised. Unfortunately bands tend to pick rather fitting names, and the band names seemed to be alluding to a folky sound, which, as it turned out, was dead on. The first performer Amanda Shires took the stage at Hi-dive’s usual 9:15ish start time, and only a few people migrated from the bar. After a few songs she had witched the wills of the sitting few into stumbling over to see what the beautiful commotion was all about. Taking members from Thrift Store Cowboys for an occasional song or two, Amanda was woman enough for me when alone on stage. Her voice was unassuming and her skill with a stringed instrument was undeniable. Her charm went well beyond her stage presence, as the lyrics and tone to the songs were enriching and lovely.
The rest of the Thrift Store Cowboys boys climbed up on stage and thus started their set. I was expecting a raucous good time with whiskey drinking and stumbling about, but the experience was a bit like what a melding of Bishop Allen and The Walkmen would sound like if they did My Morning Jacket style alt country. It was poppy and ethereal, and straight from the back country. Their sincerity and sexuality came, not sloppily, but sensuously through their strings and cymbals, as well as organs and heads (drum heads of course). I was thoroughly surprised by their sound and by how moved I was after their set. Granted I was not transported to a higher level of existence due to their performance, but I walked away more pleased with a performance than I had in a while.
Thrift Store Cowboys - Go! Go! You Coyotes!
Thrift Store Cowboys - Fallen Pinetree